Monday, September 30, 2013

Being Friday the 27th of September, 2014 ...

On this date, 947 years ago, William the Conqueror’s invasion fleet set sail from France.
Given that the combined age of regular attendants at the City Folk Club is probably in the region of 1000 years, there is every reason for us to have the date and subsequent events permanently committed to corporate memory.

... England has taken me. (Kipling)

Of course, there is one among us who, being of great age, remembers it personally!

So, what happened on this date in 2013?

Roger built a tower way
up to the Sun.

Berry and Paul helped us
make it through the night.

... sailed on the alley-oh.

Tony B. invited us all to gavotte.

Henry VIII composed this
for the uke and harmonica!

... while Tony C. became a woman!
(Not tonight, sweetheart!)

Now, how do you spell

A dragon lives forever.

Thus fortified for the coming week, Berry bid us all good night, and we all went home.

Did you know that William, Duke of Normandy was known in his time as William the Ba****d?
Berry observed that there are some of our own contemporaries who are similarly described, undersevedly, by this epithet.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Being Friday the 20th of September, 2013 ...

This is an anniversary ...
On this day in 1519 Ferdinand Magellan embarked upon the first successful circumnavigation of world.
He commanded two ships: Trinidad and Victoria, with a combined compliment of about 270 crew.

Magellan did not survive to complete the expedition. He was killed in battle in the Philippines in 1521.
The circumnavigation was completed by Juan Sebasti√°n Elcano commanding Victoria with a surviving crew of only 18 men, arriving back in Spain on 6th September, 1522.

Of course, all that foregoing has nothing whatsoever to do with The City Folk Club, but such historical intelligence might engage the imagination of those who sing/play folk songs/music ...
Maybe, not!

One participant announced that she had recently attended a meeting of CAMRA, thinking it was a photographic club ...

Marian couldn't understand why everyone was drunk!

Angela, as MC, was weary from the outset ...

Let me rest ...

Eddie sang Home Lads Home.
We remembered Sarah Morgan who composed the tune ...

R.I.P, Sarah.

Elayne enchanted us in a foreign language ...

Les feuilles Mortes.

One polyglot said that he was particularly enamoured of Russian folk songs ...

Who needs an orchestra when you've got Elayne's sublime, unaccompanied voice?

Thereafter, Berry appeared somewhat morose, regretting that his woman has gone off with another man.
His other offerings included the words 'melancholy' and 'blue' in their titles.
We tried to reassure him ...

Dogsbody rounded Cape Horn losing only two gallant tars on the way ...

By angry seas the ropes we threw
from their poor hands was torn.

Paul educated us about a conflict between Andrew Jackson's American troops and the British Army in 1815 ...

We fired our guns and ...

 Connor sang about this magnificent form of river transport ...

On the Vicksburg run.

Many thanks to everyone who came along to share this enjoyable evening of music and benign interpersonal abuse.
We managed to pay the rent without bringing in extra seats.
Thank you to Angela for ... staying awake to look after us all!

By the way, did you know that Ferdinand Magellan had a penguin named after him?

sphenicus magellicanus


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Charitable things ...

We all know that CFC is not a charity fund-raising organisation, but we have regularly been able to support good causes.
Within the coming months, instead of Children in Need, we’ve decided to support more local causes.


The Regnum Guides are seeking funding for the planned extension/refurbishment of the Guide Hall.
You’ll have seen their posters in the hall asking everyone to buy a brick.
Some of you have done so already - thank you.

To this end we plan to donate any surplus funds, (weekly subscriptions minus hall-hire fees,) accrued from 30th August until the end of 2013 to the Guides.

In order to do this we need to generate said surplus: that means an average of more than 10 bodies in attendance every week.
(There’s a hint there!)

We will present that donation at our Christmas Party to be held on Friday, 20th December.
Mark that date in your diary.

Prostate Cancer UK:

We have good reason to support this worthwhile charity, hopefully a local branch.
So, on 31st January, 2014, (when all the festivities are over,) we will hold a special evening to include a raffle and sponsored requests, much as we have done so enjoyably and successfully in the past.

We all like requests!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Being Friday the 13th of Sepember, 2013 ...

Was it the weather that kept people at home?

The sky was grey;
it threatened wet.

Perhaps it was the inauspicious date, (Friday the thirteenth!)
Maybe Dogsbody was rude to somebody last week.

Momentarily the time was ...

It is quite remarkable what
a AA battery can do.

Paul MC-d for a grand total of 7 participants.
We almost had individual tables.
He did a grand job, and I know that it can be more stressful facilitating for a small number than for a full house.

Not disheartened, we carried on as usual, and enjoyed some splendid offerings.

"But I've only prepared one song!" was heard from some quarters, but we all searched our memory banks and had at least three turns each, in addition to several impromptu collaborations.

Look who's back in our midst ...

Is that Fiddlin' Bill?

Paul sang about the patron saint of lost causes ...

Tony sang about a bag of these tooth-rotting confections ...

Chris sang about a solitary perambulation beneath the moon ...

Bill played this tune ...

The composer of Maggie-Ann's Tune, Charlie Laurenson, lived here ...

Sousetter, near Voe, Shetland

At the end Paul, as a reward for our good behaviour, let us all go home early so that Dogsbody could catch the last train home.

If you weren't there, you missed the Guides'
new jolly bunting that demonstrates
the agnostic version of their promise.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Being Friday the 6th of September, 2013 ...

The Guides seem to be reminding us of a balanced diet ...

Have you had your 5 a day?

This was a very pleasant evening.
Tony (AKA T. B.) turned up very early to demonstrate enthusiasm in helping to set up.
Thank you for the thought.

Then, in came this delightful couple all the way from Worcestershire via Rustington ...

These are Derek and Roberta
on their annual visit.

Time stood still ...

So, we've got loads of
time then!

With seventeen seats occupied we got on with what we do best ...
enjoy making music in good company, and just occasionally, (and selectively,) being rather rude to each other.

Dogsbody seems to have transferred his pre-occupation with trains to barley fields ...

All among ...

Nevertheless, there were at least two songs that referred to trains ...

"Please," says a little boy,
"Don't throw me off this conveyance!"

Dogsbody had more than his usual difficulty for retaining emotional continence!

Something about a cannonball.
(That 0-6-4-0 is a particularly unusual wheel arrangement!)

Tony, (AKA T. B.) sang about this ...

David, Mave's friend, gave an account of the Kinder Trespass ...

Then Mave sang about it.

Lots of other things happened, but time was pressing, so we all went home at ...

Who knows where
the time goes?


Someone has been reported as asking this very reasonable question:
"Why doesn't The City Folk Club start at 8 o'clock?"

Answer: Because the clock has stopped!

Note to self ...
Must bring along an AA battery next week, not that that will make any difference!

Monday, September 9, 2013

CD Review #1

Heart by BeHeld.

Image courtesy of BeHeld.
Artwork by Ned Ouwell.

Long awaited is this second EP of BeHeld, with four tracks from our friends.

Heart is an obvious title for the album because all four tracks have the word 'heart' in the title or lyrics.
Jane is showcased on track 1 with Be Still my Beating Heart.
It is credited 'Renshaw/BeHeld' and is very beautiful.
There are sensitivity and vulnerability demonstrated in the way Jane sings.
Her voice is heart-stoppingly engaging, and perfectly complimented by Micks fiddling.
Then there is a near-seamless segu√© into track 2, It Must be True.
Here you hear Davids own poetic lyrics, harmonised by Jane.
Listen carefully: " ... it must exist; that's what her heart had told her."
You can feel Mick embracing the sitar - an interesting sound that clearly belongs in this piece.
Oh, and David plays the baritone ukulele.
Track 3, Heart, is more up-tempo and energetic.
I think I hear Rogers mandolin on this track, but theres so much going on its difficult to discern precisely who is doing what, but I'm sure that David plays the baritone ukulele.
No matter, it all blends immaculately.
Then, finally, we arrive ... as if by extra-terrestrial transport ... at track 4.
Heart-Light is a complete and delightful surprise.
There are ethereal elements to this piece, worthy of a sci-fi film soundtrack.
Close your eyes, listen, relax, slow your heart-rate and breathing. Let your imagination soar through undiscovered celestial galaxies


  and that unresolved closing chord leaves you reaching out for infinity.
Now for the commercial ...
If it's not sold out you may still add this CD to your collection by following this link.
Addenda ...
Yes, I sought David's permission to write this review.
"Publish and be damned!" he responded.
Please understand that this post reflects only one person's opinions that do not necessarily represent the views of The City Folk Club as a whole.

The club has no pecuniary interest in any sales of this album.